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Canada - France - Hawaii Telescope

The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) is a non-profit organization which operates a world class 3.6 meter telescope atop Mauna Kea, a dormant Hawaiian volcano rising 4,200 meters above the Pacific ocean. It is funded according to a tripartite agreement between Canada, France and the University of Hawaii signed in June 1974. CFHT's staff includes experts in a wide variety of fields including mechanics, electronics, computer science, optics and astrophysics. The technical groups are complemented by a library and administrative service. The role of CFHT is to operate, maintain and upgrade all the observatory systems, to make sure that the telescope remains competitive, and to provide first rate instrumentation to astronomers in Canada, France and the University of Hawaii.

CFHT was built in the late 1970s and saw first light in 1979. At the time of the first observations, the 3.6 meter telescope was the sixth largest in the world. Today's largest telescopes have mirror sizes in the range of 8 to 10 meters! Without innovative instruments, CFHT would soon become obsolete. Therefore, CFHT has undertaken an aggressive development program to equip the telescope with state-of-the-art instruments to remain competitive with the larger telescopes. The latest evolution on this front is the wide-field imaging program.

For more information visit the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope website.

Canada France Hawaii Telescope
Picture courtesy of David Nunuk, Science Photo Library (Dome of CFHT telescope up Mauna Kea)

 

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